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What was Mill's motivation in life? He saw himself as an educator of enlightened and advances opinion.

His aim was to explain and defend what he felt modern society should be organised around. Otherwise he thought the society of the future would not achieve the harmony and stability of an organic age. This organic age that Mill foresaw was one that was increasingly industrial and secular, and Mill hoped to formulate the fundamental principles that such a society might need to have. Objections to Bentham Principle of specific consequences. Mill objects that Bentham interprets the principle of utility in the narrow sense which Mill calls the principle of specific consequences. It disapproves of an action solely from a calculation of the consequences to which that kind of action would lead. Mill's objection is that this interpretation is much too narrow for dealing with pol. and social questions. Mill was concerned about how to arrange social institutions so that society would have a character - with aims, desires and sentiments - such that they are incapable of committing crimes, or are already inclined to engage in the desired conduct. Egotism. Mill felt that Bentham enumerated motives and desires which were innumerable, and ignored social motives like conscience and feeling of duty. This resulted in a psychologically egoistic tone. Bentham also fails to see political and social institutions as a means for social education of a people and a way to adjust the conditions of social life to their stage of civilisation. Happiness as the Ultimate End "According to the Greatest Happiness Principlethe ultimate end, with reference to and for the sake of which all other things are desirable, is an existence exempt as far as possibl from pain, and as rich as possible in enjoyments, both in quantity and quality." A mode of life. Mill speaks of the ultimate end (the greatest happiness) as an existence, a mode of life. Happiness is not merely pleasurable feelings, but a mode, a way of life. Not only that, Mill speaks of pleasures and pains as activities distinguished by their source: that is, by the faculties. The decided preference criterion as the test of quality. One pleasure is higher in quality than another when: Those who have experienced the two pleasures have a decided preference for the activity connected with one over the other, and this preference is independent from any feeling of moral obligation or consideration of its circumstantial advantages. A decided preference for one pleasure over another means that the enjoyment of that pleasure will not be given up for any amount of the enjoyment of the other pleasure that our nature is capable of, even when it is known that the preferred pleasure involves a greater amount of discontent. The person must be reasonably acquainted with both pleasures, be self-

aware and able to self-observe. No moral obligation considered. No circumstantial advantage considered. Circumstantial advantage: Here Mill is referring to Bentham's theory that a game of pushpin/darts is as good as poetry. Bentham means that in drawing up a schedule of activities that specifies our mode of life, there comes a point at which the marginal utility of darts is equal to the marginal utility of poetry (even though normally the time and energy we give to poetry gives more utility). Here, Bentham's view is that the source of pleasure is irrelevant: intensity and duration being the same, a pleasure is a pleasure is a pleasure. Rawls: what shows that a pleasure (as an activity) is of a higher quality than another is that we wont abandon it altogether (eliminate it from the schedule, from our way of life) in return for any amount of fulfillment of the lower pleasures which our nature is capable of. In arranging our way of life (or in scheduling our activities) there comes a point at which the rate of exchange of the lower for the higher pleasures is, practically speaking, infinite. This refusal to abandon the higher pleasures for any amount of the lower shows the special priority of the higher. In summary, Mill distinguishes our schedule of activities into those which involve the exercise of higher faculties and those with lower faculties. These are regarded as sources of qualitatively distinct kinds of pleasures. Some of the lower pleasures are required for health and well-being. Once this is fulfilled, the utility of lower pleasures reduces gradually to zero. The higher pleasures thus take over and become the focus of our lives; we will never freely give up or resign the higher pleasures no matter how great the compensating fulfilment of the lower pleasures may be (e.g. the eternal life of a clam vs the short life of Mozart). In evaluation, Our conception of happiness, then, is that of a way of life more or less successfully lived, given reasonable expectations of what life can provide. To say that there are higher vs. lower pleasures is just to say that we decidedly prefer a way of life the special structure of which gives the central focus and priority to those activities that call upon the higher faculties.

Mill's proof of Utilitarianism [D. Miller] First, we will try to understand Mill's ideas on pleasure. Utilitarians believe that only the well-being (happiness) of sentient beings has intrinsic value. If something neither improves someone's life itself nor can be used to obtain something else that can, then according to the Utilitarian it is of no value whatsoever. Objection. Hedonism says that all pleasure is valuable, regardless of where it

comes from. Critics have pointed to two kinds of cases in particular to suggest that this is implausible. First, there are cases in which pleasure stems from 'evil' sources; think of the pleasure that a terrorist might get from a successful attack. Second, there are cases in which a person enjoys pleasure as a result of false beliefs. As an extreme example of this, consider the pleasure of someone who believes that she is enjoying a perfectly 'normal' life, but who is actually on life support and receiving simu lated experiences via virtual reality technology, as in The Matrix. Since the person's pleasure would be real, even though it was the product of false beliefs, the hedonist must regard it as being just as valuable as any other pleasure. Long before The Matrix, the philosopher Robert Nozick raised the possibility of an 'experience machine' as an objection to hedonism. Is Mill a hedonist? He certainly identifies well-being with happiness. Take a look at this quote: "By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure.... [P]leasure, and freedom from pain, are the only things desirable as ends; and ... all desirable things (which are as numerous in the utilitarian as in any other scheme) are desirable either for the pleasure inherent in themselves, or as means to the promotion of pleasure and the prevention of pain." An overview of Mill's proof Mill's creed holds that 'actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness,' and according to D.G. Brown, this not only tells us that utilitarians hold a particular view about the morality of actions but also that this view is grounded on the proposition that 'happiness is the only thing desirable as an end'. Three step argument of Mill. 1. Happiness is desirable as an end 2. The 'general happiness' is desirable as an end 3. Nothing except happiness is desirable as an end In detail, Mill's argument for the first two are as such: Think of 'desirable' as one thinks of 'visible.' You only know something is visible when you can see it. Similarly, you only know something is desirable when you desire it. Such is the proof of our experience. Nobody can explain why such and such is desirable, or visible, it just is. This being a fact, we have the proof that happiness is a good: that each person's happiness is a good to that person, and the general happiness, therefore, a good to the aggregate of all persons. 'Virtue, according to the utilitarian doctrine, is not naturally and originally part of the end, but it is capable of becoming so; and in those who love it disinterestedly it has become so, and is desired and cherished, not as a means to happiness,

but as a part of their happiness.'

Objection. 1. G.E. Moore: Mill moves illegitimately from the descriptive claim that happiness is desired as an end to the normative claim that it is desirable, obscuring it by playing on the homophonicity between 'visible' and 'desirable'. This arises because 'desirable' does not mean 'able to be desired' as 'visible' means 'able to be seen' - the desirable means simply what ought to be desired or what deserves to be desired. 1.1. Reply: Mill meets the sceptic with the'common-sense' response that we know intuitively that the memory is generally reliable, on the basis of a shared doxastic or beliefforming disposition. Likewise, he seems to be suggesting that our innate disposition to desire pleasure justifies us in claiming to know intuitively that it is desir able. Just as we are justified in 'trusting' that beliefs resulting from an innate belief-forming disposition are true, he apparently reasons, so too are we justified in trusting that innate desires have objects worthy of being desired. The desire for pleasure is universally shared, it is 'primitive' rather than acquired via expe rience (although we can learn to find pleasure in new things), and the disposition to desire pleasure is irresistible (which is not to say that we cannot resist acting on desires for particular pleasant experi ences). As 5korupski writes, 'The objectivity of happiness as an end is, and can only be, grounded in reflective agreement ... of spontaneous desires.' In this, Mill appeals to intuition.

2. Mill commits the 'Fallacy of composition', when he assumes that something must be true of a collection of items if it is true of each item individually. This arises because collections of identities might not share the same properties as its constituents (e.g. A feather on its own is light, but a pile of feathers can be very heavy). Mill steps into this zone when he claims that since 'each individual's happiness is a good to that individual' (presumably meaning that increasing a person's net happiness benefits him), then the 'general happiness' will necessarily be a good thing to the aggregate of persons (increasing the sum total of net happiness benefits people collectively). 2.1. Reply: Does someone who desires happiness and believes that this desire is 'accurate', that is, that happiness really is valuable or worth having, believe that: 1 Happiness is valuable when experienced by me; or that 2 Happiness is valuable simpliciter, regardless of who gets to enjoy it? Mill takes it that the latter is the case. The reason that we affirm our desire for happiness is that we believe that happiness has value regardless of who enjoys it. Part of what Mill takes us to know when we know that happiness is valuable, is

that it is valuable regardless of who enjoys it. In fact, he takes us to know that equal amounts of it are equally valuable, regardless of who gets to experience them. 'It may be more correctly described as supposing that equal amounts of happiness are equally desirable, whether felt by the same or by different persons. This, however, is not a presupposition; not a premise needful to support the principle of utility, but the very principle itself.' It might be tempting to think that because sympathy enables one person to derive pleasure from the pleasure of others, Mill believes that everyone would benefit if the general happiness were to be greater rather than less. If people 'share' in one another's pleasure and pain, then maximizing the aggregate level of happiness maximizes each individual's level as well. Mill explicitly repudiates this interpretation in a letter that he writes to Henry Jones in 1868: "As to the sentence you quote from my 'Utilitarianism'; when I said that the general happiness is a good to the aggregate of all persons I did not mean that every human's happiness is a good to every other human being; though, I think, in a good state of society and educa tion it would be so. I merely meant in this particular sentence to argue that since A's happiness is a good, B's a good, C's a good, &c., the sum of these goods must be a good." -While Mill believes that people's capacity for sympathy could develop to the point where each individual would derive happiness from the happiness of every other, his argument does not depend on the assumption that it has or will. -One person's happiness is a good, and makes a positive contribution to the goodness of society. The magnitude of this contribution is determined by the amount of happiness. The aggregate happiness enjoyed by everyone in society can be seen as adding to the goodness of the state. -Thus Mill does not commit the fallacy of composition? He is merely adding up the 'good' and not calculating the 'good' as a whole group of 'good-ness'

3. G.E. Moore: Mill suggests that things like money or virtue could be part of a person's happiness; however this is inconsistent with his hedonistic definition of happiness and pleasure and the absence of pain. "Does Mill mean to say that money, these actual coins, which he admits to be desired in and of itself, are part of either pleasure or the absence of pain?" 3.1. Reply: Mill believes that we only desire pleasure as an end, but this does not mean that he believes that its value is due to our desires. He commits himself to no more than the epistemic claim that we can know it has value because of our innate

disposition to desire it.He may well believe that its value is objective; he leaves the question open. Mill takes an innate personal opinion to play a role in his proof as well. Within the space of a single sentence, he moves from speaking of 'desiring a thing' as an end to speaking of thinking 'an object desirable' thus implying that: to do one is to do the other. This implies that he takes us to share something more than a desire for happiness, namely a belief that happiness is a desirable good.We might describe having this belief as 'affirming' our desire for happiness, inasmuch as the belief in question amounts to a belief that the object of that desire really is worth desiring. If he takes this belief to spring from an innate disposition, then he might also take it to do at least part of the work of justifying our claim to know that happiness is desirable for its own sake.

4. Mill talks about the 'greatest good', the question is: good for who? The world is so polarised right now. 4.1. Reply: Rely on internalist/externalist view (Internalism and externalism are two opposing ways of explaining various subjects in several areas of philosophy. These include human motivation, knowledge, justification, meaning, and truth. The distinction arises in many areas of debate with similar but distinct meanings. Usually 'internalism' refers to the belief that an explanation can be given of the given subject by pointing to things which are internal to the person or their mind who is considering them. Conversely, externalism holds that it is things about the world which motivate us, justify our beliefs, determine meaning, etc.) Externalist view 1. If we define a pleasure as a subjective experience desired for its own sake, then the proposition that pleasure is desired is true by definition; it is not an empirical observation. The empirical claim would instead have to be that everyone has pleasures, or in other words, that each and every person desires some experiences or others as ends. 2. What if everyone's pleasures turn out to be different? From an externalist perspective, there is not necessarily anyone particular experience that we all desire (if which experiences are desired varies from person to person, this would complicate Mill's appeal to intuition.) 1. Only innate dispositions can give rise to intuitive knowledge, and it is universally shared. If there are no specific experiences that we are all disposed to desire (and, perhaps, all believe to be desirable), then we cannot know intuitively that anything is intrinsically valuable. 3. It is absurd to think that every person on earth desires the same experiences for its own sake (i.e. some enjoy roller coaster rides, and some do not;

people sit on the roller coasters for different reasons: mild fear for some people, intense terror for others. Some people might have strong mental associations with roller-coasters, like fond memories of having ridden them with a parent as a child, which will also figure into their experience) 1. However, one can 'group' the complexity of the experience as a single experience with numerous components or elements: we could even say that most of our experiences are similarly complex 2. By revision of externalism, that an element of a subjective experience is a pleasure for a person if he or she desires it, then one and the same experience might include several distinct pleasuresl and that an experience can be simultaneously pleasurable and painful 3. This accepts that people have different experiences from the same activity. Two people can be engaged in the same activity and yet have quite different subjective experiences. Conversely, two people might be engaged in very different activities, and yet some of the same elements might be present in each of their experiences. These two points together suggest that it might not be entirely absurd to think that there could be considerable convergence between us regarding what elements of subjective experience we desire (and, perhaps, believe that we are right to desire). 4. Perhaps it could turn out to be true, of some group of elements or aspects of experiencesl that everyone who has experienced them has a disposition to desire them as ends. And perhaps this latter disposition could meet the other requirements, beyond being universally shared, for being innate. 5. In that case, Mill could claim that we know intuitively that these par ticular pleasures are intrinsically desirable, and that equal amounts of a particular pleasure are equally valuable regardless of who experiences them. (This claim would only be strengthened if we also possess an innate doxastic disposition to affirm the desires in question.) Of course, showing that this idea is not obviously false is a very different thing from showing that it is true. Perhaps it could never really be proven beyond all question.

5. Utilitarianism does not recognise egalitarianism. Critics point out that a state of affairs that contains less total net happiness might be better than one that contains more, if the distribution of happiness in the former is more equal. Suppose two worlds A and B. Sum total happiness in A<B, but in A everyone is equally happy, whilst in B people are generally less happy but one individual has a disproportionate amount of happiness that makes TotalHappiness(b) > TotalHappiness(a). [This objection assumes that equality, or at least equality in the distribution of happiness, is of value in its own right.] 5.1. Reply: Mill, though, takes himself to have shown that only happiness itself has intrinsic value. The first world may contain more 'equality of happiness' than the second,

but in and of itself this adds nothing to the total amount of good that it contains. Nor does fairness, proportion between happiness and desert, knowledge or what have you - make it better than a state of affairs that contains more 'happiness' than it does, according to Mill, since nothing besides how much happiness a state of affairs contains has any bearing on how good or bad it is.

6. The Butlerian challenge to Mill's view would be to ask why lovers of virtue would take any pleasure in the belief that they have a good character, unless they desire a good character for its own sake in the most literal sense. 6.1. Reply: Mill's associationism, though, pro vides an answer to this question, which is that loving virtue simply means having the idea of virtue so firmly linked in your mind with pleasure that the thought of yourself as virtuous is followed by pleasant feelings. The belief pulls the pleasure along after it. Yet the answer that it was suggested that he might give to Butler depends upon the details of his mechanistic associationist psychology, a view that strikes many people today as excessively crude. The other standard objection to the claim that we desire nothing but pleasure (or mental states more generally) is that there are counterexamples that clearly show it to be false. Nozick's 'experience machine', which might be interpreted to mean that we have a desire for 'authenticity', has already been mentioned. Another familiar case involves soldiers who throw themselves on grenades to save their comrades, knowing that they will almost certainly die and will suffer horribly if they do not. Yet someone thoroughly wedded to the idea that all we desire for its own sake is pleasure can always find something to say in reply to examples like these.

7. Having said that the fact that something's being desired as an end is evidence of its desirability, Mill has put himself in a position of needing to show that nothing except happiness is desired as an end. This is a difficult position, for it seems as if people desire things as ends that are entirely distinct from happiness: misers desire money for its own sake, good people desire virtue as an end and so on. Mill must either show that what these people really desire is not money or virtue, or he must show how money and virtue both are part of happiness. He chooses the latter way. 7.1. Reply: One way to maintain that Mill's position is internally consistent is to suggest that he 'does not really mean it' when he defines hap piness as pleasure and the absence of pain. If this were true, though, then it would be somewhat

mysterious why he devotes so much attention to pleasure in chapter 2 of Utilitarianism and even in the course of presenting the proof itself, not to mention the rest of his body of work. More likely is that he does not really mean it when he says that we can desire things other than pleasure as ends. It is possible for such a strong mental association to develop between pleasurable experiences and something else that this something else becomes a source of pleasure in its own right. This something else will often, if not invariably, be something that originally served only as a means to attaining pleasure. It could be doing a particular type of action? It could also be something that a person might possess - either something material or a personal quality - in which case the person derives pleasure from reflecting on the belief that he or she possesses it. For instance, someone who has tried to act virtuously in order to be treated well by others can begin to associ ate the pleasurable experiences enjoyed as a result of this good treatment with the thought of him- or herself as virtuous. In this case, the belief that he or she is a virtuous person will itself be a source of pleasure, over and above the pleasure of any external rewards in the form of better treatment from others - that being virtuous might allow him or her to enjoy. Those people who love virtue do not liter ally desire a virtuous character for its own sake, as Mill sees it; instead, what they really desire for its own sake is the pleasure that they have learned to take in the belief that their character is good (along with freedom from the pain that accompanies the thought that some of their habits are vicious). Thus the apparent counterex ample to the proposition that we desire something distinct from pleasure for its own sake is neutralized, leaving us with no reason to suppose that anything other than pleasure has intrinsic value. This may look like an explanation of how individuals acquire new sources of pleasure, not how they come to desire new things as ends. The point, however, is that for Mill these two processes are really one and the same. What Mill is implicitly doing in this part of chapter 4 of Utilitarianism is providing an analysis of what is really going on in situations in which it might ordinarily be said that a person has come to desire something other than pleasure as an end. On the surface, he seems to be entirely satisfied with our ordinary way of speaking, in which we might say that a person desires something like virtue as an end; indeed, he appears to embrace this claim without reservation. But it is a mistake to over look how Mill analyses the love of virtue for its own sake in terms of pleasure and pain: Those who desire virtue for its own sake, desire it either because the consciousness of it is a pleasure, or because the consciousness of being without it is a pain, or for both reasons united; as in truth the pleasure and pain seldom exist separately, but almost always together, the same person feeling pleasure in the degr(.'e of virtue attained, and pain in not having attained more?

Conclusion: That Mill could make answers to these sorts of objections is clear enough. Whether we ought to be satisfied with the answers he could make is a very different question, however. As far as the possible replies that were proposed to the putative counterexamples are concerned, one must question whether these reinterpretations of the scenarios are remotely plausible. (i.e. Is it not possible to appreciate fully just how pleasurable the experience machine would be, and yet still prefer - for its own sake - an authentic life?) The answer is almost certainly that this is more than possible. Lots of people would probably have this preference, in fact. And if Mill is wrong as a matter of fact about what things we desire as ends, then this is a devastating blow to his defence of hedonism. Some hard questions must also be raised about Mill's defence of impartiality in the second step of the proof. There may be reason to worry about what kind of answer, if any, he can make to the egoist who acknowledges that happiness is valuable regardless of whom enjoys it, but who concludes that it is only rational for each individual to get as much of it as possible for themself. Sidgwick was famously forced to conclude that there is a 'duality' in practical reason, inasmuch as it is no less rational to promote one's own happiness than to promote the general happiness, or vice versa.